BWWMH offers adult mental health services, counseling

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tombigbee Outreach Adult Behavioral Health Services is the outpatient psychiatric portion of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital that offers mental health services to the community. They offer individual, group, family and substance abuse counseling, medication management and psychiatry, which means they can provide talking therapy as well as prescribe medication to patients.

Kate Crawford, director of Tombigbee Outreach, said the goal of the center is to “provide psychiatric services where they previously have not been offered.”

Tombigbee Outreach Adult Behavioral Health Services is part of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital and focuses on mental health services. Staff at the facility include Dr. John B. Jeans III (seated), and from left, RN Katie Barley, LPC Kate Crawford-Director, and AADC Crystal Crawford.

“We’re big into therapy, so the individual therapy as well as family therapy, and offering a service where you can see a therapist on a weekly basis rather than waiting for an appointment every couple of months and see a psychiatrist on a regular basis, too, probably wasn’t offered before we were here,” Crawford said.

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Patients who see counselors are able to focus on problematic areas of their lives and learn the coping skills to improve. Patients come in for problems like depression, substance abuse or anger management.

Crawford said many patients have improved enough to get jobs, rekindle relationships, stay sober, have successful relationships or stay out of the hospital or jail.

“It’s the best care to have a continuation of services, so when they come here to see us we will follow up with ‘What have you been doing that’s been working?’ [and] ‘What can we improve on?’ to make sure that they don’t get sick again and have to go back to the hospital,” Crawford said.

For patients concerned with the cost of these services, Crawford said that Tombigbee Outreach works with patients and their insurance companies.

“If they just call and say ‘I need some help’, we’ll work with them and figure out how we can help them.”

Crawford said it’s “worth a shot” for patients to try counseling, even if they think it won’t work or their condition isn’t that bad. She also said that Tombigbee Outreach makes patient confidentiality its first priority.

Crawford also said patients shouldn’t worry about the stigma of mental illness.

“If you need to go to the doctor for a cold, you don’t worry about doing that. If you need to go to the doctor for depression, you shouldn’t stop yourself.”

She said Tombigbee Outreach is unlike other centers because they work as a team with each other and BWWMH, offering counseling, medication, detoxing and sometimes in-patient hospitalization in one central location.

Tombigbee Outreach, located at the Holifield Medical Building, is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Monday, they are open until 7 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 334-287-2805.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, December 13 issue of the Demopolis Times.)